These meetings share good practice and test new ideas. Sometimes we focus on particular issues like social media, newsletters or basic communication skills; branches are also invited to share learning from specific projects.At this meeting activists took stock of UNISON communications. We discussed good practice, new ideas, what can we do better and further support for activists?
Video conferencing, social media and recent training by Union Solidarity International were examples of improvements. Other good practice included the 1,000 Influencers campaign; Lanarkshire PFI campaign; the new Aberdeen University UNISON website; UNISON NHS Glasgow Clyde & VCS research with Glasgow University which publicised low pay in the NHS; and the New Lanark family fun day with a serious message.
Activists were also impressed with joint work of UNISON Stirling and Clackmannanshire Branches who are fighting a shared services agenda together.
What can we do better? Survey monkey is a great way to engage with UNISON members and can be used to boost recruitment. Social media is not a substitute for good old fashioned face to face communication but it is important method of campaigning. Perhaps we can look into facebook advertising which can be specific and as little as £20 per week to contact thousands of potential members. But it was not all new tech. We also talked about notice boards, which are vital recruitment tool and encourage members to get active.
What support do activists need? Locally based training on specific issues like social media; and the development of templates that can be easily personalised. Are just 2 examples.
Do you have other ideas? Have we missed something? If the answer is yes. Why not get along to the next communications activist meeting?